Jul 4, 2010 2:00pm EDT
, a bit of background. narrator: for decades, the u.s. had more college graduates per capita than any other country but that's not the case anymore. america now ranks 10th among industrialized nations in college attainment by 25 to 34 year olds, those who have completed at least an associate's degree. that's behind canada, japan, korea and several european nations. and giants such as china and india are gaining on the u.s. as they are making extraordinary investments in higher education with the potential to alter the global distribution of skills. the model of the u.s. as the leader in innovation technology may be slipping, as those other countries gain the knowledge to compete. barack obama: by 2020, america will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. narrator: but it is college for everyone? and do you need a college degree for the jobs that are out there? a recent report noted that of the 30 fastest growing occupations, only seven require a bachelor's degree or higher. there are about 9 million students enrolled in four-year colleges in the u.s.
Jul 18, 2010 2:05pm EDT
everyone. before we begin our debate, some background. narrator: numerous u.s. industries have struggling or failing business models today, newspapers, airlines, car companies. and some might add to that category higher education. there was a time in the 1960s when state governments provided the bulk of operating support for state colleges and universities, which kept tuition costs very low. but that changed in the 1980s. as funding began to decline, colleges and universities turned to one area they could control, increasing tuition and passing on rising costs to students and families, a pattern that continues to this day. private universities also have struggled to keep tuitions in check. but the recent economic turmoil has drained endowments and contributed to escalating price tags. in 2009, four year state tuition, room, board and expenses for a student averaged nearly $20,000 a year, according to the college board. for a four year private school, it's almost $40,000 a year. and while median family income from 1982 to 2006 rose 147 percent, college tuition and fees soared by
Jul 11, 2010 2:00pm EDT
individuals face those decisions about their own care. some say because the u.s. has the best medicine in the world, americans are entitled to take advantage of all of it. but often families bankrupt themselves in their struggle to keep loved ones alive a week or month longer. religious and spiritual beliefs also play a role in their decisions. many believe that if they have health insurance they can spend at will, even if it means higher premiums are passed on to their fellow workers. a recent gallup poll noted that 93 percent of americans say it is either extremely or very important for their health care plan to cover any medical test or treatment they and their doctor think is necessary. medical costs at the end-of-life are especially high with more than one-fourth of medicare expenses in 2009 about $143 billion going to treatment in the last year of life. and without changes the current medicare program will be insolvent in seven years. the enormous costs have led some to ask if health care should be rationed at the end-of-life. and who should make such decisions, insuranc
Jul 25, 2010 2:00pm EDT
. for example, polls say about 20 percent of americans think president obama was not born in the u.s. despite his well publicized hawaiian birth certificate. even eric schmidt of google has said the internet risks becoming a cesspool of misinformation. so is democracy threatened by the unchecked nature of information on the internet? or do the benefits of technology outweigh the problems? spreading ideas and democracy around the world is one benefit of the internet, supporters say. the internet and other mobile technologies allow people in closed societies to access information. and in the case of iran, help mobilize opposition forces. but the technology is limited, and sometimes can be blocked by authorities. the internet also can help people form new friendships and associations to share information and opinion. but how deep and how meaningful are these connections? do they create silos where we only talk to like-minded people. when it comes to politics or civil discourse, is it harmful to democracy if we hear only opinions similar to our own and never listen to anything contradict